Verrucous Keratosis

It is a skin disease which affects the outermost layer of skin called epidermis. Pre-dominantly Keratinocytes form the epidermis and hence the name verrucous(means wart like) kerastosis. In this disease, wart like outgrowth starts developing on the skin. This disease is also known as seborrheic keratosis, the difference is only that when a viral wart starts to grow in seborrheic keratosis then it is called verrucous kerastosis. Both the diseases are same except the causal wart! It usually occurs in old age. it is benign and non-cancerous i.e. it does not spread to other body parts.


The cause of this skin problem is unclear till date. It is usually found in the following situations-

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  • Sun exposed body areas such as- back, neck, arms and face etc.
  • Ultra Violet rays are supposed to be a reason for causing this skin disease.
  • Mutation of a gene has been found to be associated with this disease. The gene is responsible for growth factor reception and it gets mutated to form the outgrowth.
  • Stress may also lead to out-burst of a benign growth as well. So, people consider stress as a cause for this skin problem.
  • Gastro-intestinal problems may also result in the same. Though, experimentally it has not been proved.
  • The actual cause is unknown to all and hence most of the above mentioned points are only observations and not experimentally proven facts. But it is important to take care of your skin.


There are no symptoms of this disease. It is also said that people of 40-45 years of age generally carry this problem. Small unnoticeable out-growths may be found in almost all aged people. Following are a few symptoms.

  • Itching near the out-growth.
  • Out-growths in 40 above age in tan or darker shade. It is usually asymptomatic i.e. the person who carries the disease experiences no symptoms. Clinically silent symptoms is the term used!


Skin biopsy can be done to find the exact answer for the problem. Following are some common observations or clinical findings-

  1. Found mainly on trunk and face. It is common to find multiple lesions on the skin.
  2. An irregular skin surface. Thick verrucous lesion.
  3. The out-growth looks like easily removable which is absolutely FALSE. It gives a greasy look.
  4. Thinner lesions found on cheeks and lower leg.
  5. Usually small in size- .5 to 4 cms in diameter.

Verrucous Kerastosis Treatment

  • Most verrucous kerastosis patients do not need treatment. It gets better with time. But those who require can be easily treated with liquid nitrogen. If the out-growths are thick and big then they can be removed by curettage and cautery i.e. electro-dissection or electric-surgery of the skin. In this, a small surgery is done to remove the out-growth.
  • If the out-growth increases to a very large number in a small time then further investigation must be done. Samples should be sent for histology and accordingly surgery should be planned.

If there is too much itching and you find the out-growths are constantly increasing in number then it is a matter of concern otherwise it subsides on its own, slowly and gradually. Even if you have to go for surgery then one should not worry about the scars. No scars or marks are left after the removal of these greasy wart like out-growths. It is absolutely curable.

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Preventive measures

Though the exact reasons are unknown but one should take precautions as much possible with the little known facts about the problem.

  1. People in old age must apply sun-screen lotion.
  2. Do not itch any out-growth as it may grow bigger.
  3. Stress should be managed as it is the source of all old-age problems. If one is internally happy then half the diseases are gone.
  4. Eat right food at right time to avoid any gastric issues. Whatever we eat reflects on our body and skin is biggest organ of the body. Hence right food is very important.

One may find, small-small out-growths on the skin as they age. These are small lesions which are benign in nature and hence there is no need to worry. If these growths are increasing then also an easy surgery can remove them. These out-growths seem detachable but one must avoid the urge to scratch them as it may grow bigger in size and itch more. Skin being the largest body organ gets affected as a result of any body issues. Whatever we eat and how we schedule our day is very important to keep the skin safe. Verrucous kerastosis is a slight different version of seborrheic keratosis but not a much higher level of disease. Here the causal lesion is virus and it is slightly more problematic then the normal one. So when you get to know the type of kerastosis then treatment should be taken accordingly. Proper tests like- histology etc. must be done before starting any sort of treatment.

Verrucous Kerastosis Pictures

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